Throughout our creative fleshing out for the Esch2022 REMIX Festival — our series of action-packed preamble activations to the Esch2022 European Capital of Culture kick-off next year — the guiding values were inclusivity, creativity, and participation. The latter, of course, means reaching demographics as wide and diverse as the region itself, appreciating the full breadth of talent and ideas latent within our communities. While most of our activations have sought to unleash the artistic self-expression of participants by inviting them through sound or movement, the latest junction of our efforts have concerned the realm of future-oriented thinking — and who better to manifest these visionary dreams than the voices of tomorrow, the children themselves?
We designed a major youth research program, the Esch2022 Space Program, for hundreds of children and young adults to collaboratively craft and share their vision for the future through exploring the topic of humanity in space, and the possibility of habitable regions beyond Earth. Is there more to space than its mining?
Realized in collaboration with pedagogical advisors and experts as well as reputable partners such as Lux Space Agency, the educational and interactive youth-geared research project is not a competition seeking to single out an idea or participant as the best — instead, the participants are encouraged to work together to challenge and refashion the ways we think about the future.
Through field trips, engaging tasks and talks from invited experts, the children’s curiosity is emboldened, and the limitlessness of space becomes a metaphor for the possibilities harnessed by their own imagination. In a nutshell, we wanted their ideas to go wild and have them come alive by their drawings.
Video in collaboration with Berlin based animation studio Monströös for Esch2022
Ultimately, the large-scale, multilingual and cross-border program — deployed not simply in Luxembourgish, but also French, German, Portuguese, and more — brought together a wide community of children and young adults hailing from 18 municipalities, in both France and Luxembourg, out of which 19 winners have been chosen by a jury composed of Esch2022 and Lux Space Agency members.
Encouraging the thriving of curiosity through an exploration of the infinite possibilities of space is a testament to the ways we seek to encourage the local communities to see their own potential: bold, ambitious, endless.
Head over to the ESCH2022 Space Program website to see the winning ideas.